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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Adventures In Recruiting: An Uncooperative Candidate




Every once in a while, recruiters come across uncooperative and difficult candidates.  When that happens, of course the candidate can be sure that the recruiter will never send them out.  This is the story of one such candidate.

A young man called me (I did not recruit him).  He was obviously angry about being cut back and I could detect his obvious rage on the phone, but since I believe there is no such thing as a wasted interview, I agreed to meet him.  I scheduled his appointment a few days later, hoping that the time would ease his fury.  He came to my office, took off his coat, but kept his scarf on hanging over his shoulders.  I thought it peculiar, but paid no attention.  

His previous agency was one of the top ten and he had been there only six months. I knew that there must have been a performance issue because this agency did not terminate people easily; I thought I would explore it with him.  He was in his late twenties, about six years out of college.  He had worked for a couple of ad agencies and had okay credentials, not great but not bad either.  On paper, he might have been placeable.  In person, he was a disaster.

He sat down (more like threw himself down) on my couch and before I could ask a single question, he angrily crossed his arms over his chest, looked at me and said, “Okay, so what jobs do you have available?”  I told him that I would have to interview him, find out his interests, determine his strengths and then determine what might be available, if anything. He threw one side of his scarf around his neck, almost violently, and then again crossed his arms across his chest and belligerently said, “What do you want to know.”  

At that point I had crossed him off my list, but thought I would continue the interview – just for my own amusement.  I asked him a couple of innocuous questions and then asked him about his current salary.  I was totally stunned by his response, “If you are so smart, you tell me.”  He was serious.
I explained that it I was not a clairvoyant.  He looked at me and said, “Why should I answer that? It is private information.”  I decided that I did not owe him an explanation of why a recruiter might want to know a candidate’s salary.  I was almost laughing, but with a smile on my face, I told him that I could not deal with him and asked him to leave.

He got up and left.  He was out the door before putting his coat on.

Two days later he called and asked if he could come back and promised he would be more cooperative.  I refused to see him again.

A day or two after that I got a letter from him.  I wish I had saved it.  But in essence he told me I was a terrible recruiter and that I was rude.  He was going to tell all his friends how horrible I was.  

It is strange behavior for someone who is out of work and needs help.  However, I never heard of him again and I am quite certain he never got another job in the business.


14 comments:

  1. Poor guy. Wonder what kind of horror he grew up in.

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    Replies
    1. It was probably that modern hell of constantly being told by his parents and teachers just how 'special' and 'talented' he was.

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  2. I guess somewhere in his mind you were totally responsible for his situation and since you caused it, was fully expecting you to get him out of it!

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    Replies
    1. Sure. Blame it on the recruiter (who didn't know him).

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  3. Instead of writing such a negative column about your worst candidate (clearly a dunce and social miscreant) how about writing one about your best candidate? Something for other young positive people to emulate.

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    Replies
    1. Anon: No such thing as a best candidate. However, many of my posts are about how to be a good candidate. I wrote a post on 11/8 about positive attitudes. On 10/11 I wrote about things you should never say on an interview. Skim back through the posts and you will find lots of positive things you may enjoy and benefit from.

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    2. Anon: Thinking about your comment. i will write a post about ideal candidates (which depend on the job and the company). It is a good idea. Thank you.

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    3. You're welcome. Bill

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  4. When the poor devil does get a job, assuming he does, could you imagine what it would be like to manage him?

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  5. I worked with him. He never followed the brief; never listened to the AE or Planner. Was defensive of his work; it spoke for itself. Sucked up to the ECD; echo chamber of creativity rules. 1 in 10 wins kept him in the game.

    ReplyDelete

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